Volume 22, Number 11 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 31 - August 6
A grand jury on Thurs. July 24 indicted Joseph Pabon, 25, the elevator operator at 2 Rector St., for first degree murder in the choking death of Eridania Rodriguez, a cleaning woman in the building where they both worked.
Pabon, of Staten Island, was arrested July 17 for the July 7 murder of the 46-year-old victim whose body was found on July 11 in a 12th floor air duct in the Downtown building. He pleaded not guilty and was being held without bail pending an Aug. 24 State Supreme Court arraignment.
The arrest came after the results of tests showed evidence of Pabon’s D.N.A. under the victim’s fingernails, according to law enforcement authorities. Prosecutors say that both Pabon’s and the victim’s D.N.A. were found on work gloves discovered at the scene.
Pabon had been arrested in April for beating his girlfriend and throwing a bowling ball through her car window, according to daily press reports.
Concrete lab indicted
A building materials testing firm and its lab director were indicted on July 29 for fraud regarding concrete tests for several public projects including the World Trade Center.
Stallone Testing Labs and William Bayer, the lab director, were charged with falsely representing that they conducted tests on concrete mixes required by the city building code, according to the indictment handed down by Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.
Stallone came under suspicion as a result of the District Attorney’s investigation and the resulting October 2008 indictment of Testwell Laboratories, which tested concrete for the Port Authority, owners of the W.T.C. site, the M.T.A., the School Construction Authority and private developers including Silverstein Properties, which owns 7 W.T.C., across the street from the main W.T.C. area. Testwell and its executives are scheduled for trial in November.
As a result of the Testwell investigation, the Department of Buildings began to spot checking concrete labs and construction sites. A search warrant for the Stallone office in Port Chester uncovered documents that indicated that Stallone was not performing concrete tests that it reported to have done, the indictment says.
The indictment says that reports for 7 World Trade Center dated Dec. 31, 2002 and Aug. 10, 2004 were among many false representations of tests that were not done. The District Attorney issued a statement on the case that says, “Significantly, evidence that contractors were buying false test results comes from documents recovered at Stallone’s offices.”
Morgenthau’s office issued a list of nearly 100 projects found to have false concrete mix test reports, including the World Trade Center memorial; W.T.C. transit hub; Second Ave. Subway; 1 World Trade Center; Freedom Tower Utility Relocation; Trump World Tower in Midtown and the Port Authority’s Vesey St. Walkway Improvement.
Bayer and Stallone were expected to enter pleas of not guilty on July 29.
Market St. mugging
Police arrested three teenagers for the knifepoint mugging of a man, 20, on Market and Madison Sts. at 1:16 a.m. Wed., July 22. Ramzie Jawad, 18, Amjad Abdelrahman 19 and Kamal Kheedr, 18, ordered the victim to empty his pockets and took his wallet with $289, house keys and a cell phone, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney.
The three defendants were being held in lieu of bail pending court appearances on Sept. 9 for Abdelrahman and Keedr and Sept.11 for Jawad.
— Albert Amateau